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Antelope Announces Orion32 HD with digiport & USB3 Audio Interfaces
Old 8th September 2017
  #391
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is the input to your FPGA a stream of digital audio?
Old 8th September 2017
  #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
Actually, you are wrong my friend. Is real time performance "not" an audio advantage? Have you heard comb filtering? Is avoiding aliasing "not" and audio advantage?

The FPGA is wired circuitry that performs equally as effectively as the analog components it is designed to replicate, sans any self-noise that you leave out of your new design.
Yes, low latency is nice. But an ASIC would be even faster. Does that mean it will sound better than an FPGA? No. The only thing that determines the actual sound quality is the quality of the digital model and how accurate it is. The rest whether it is FPGA, ASIC, DSP, CPU, etc, is the implementation, each with different strengths and weaknesses.
Old 8th September 2017
  #393
Quote:
Originally Posted by londonengineer View Post
is the input to your FPGA a stream of digital audio?
It is, but don't confuse "digital" with "virtual". An FPGA is a real hardware component that does not perform computations, but instead is wired to act and mimic the electronics of analog components (or pretty much whatever it's designed to perform, which in our case is also extreme "oversampling" to avoid aliasing).

Here's our newest FPGA AFX model coming soon to an Antelope Interface near you.

Thanks for your questions and curiosity btw, one can really tell that you have an open mind and are ready to learn the real science behind the magic.

Old 8th September 2017
  #394
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
It is, but don't confuse "digital" with "virtual".
I'm not
Quote:
An FPGA is a real hardware component that does not perform computations, but instead is wired to act and mimic the electronics of analog components (or pretty much whatever it's designed to perform, which in our case is also extreme "oversampling" to avoid aliasing).
The G in FPGA represents GATE. A gate is a logic device. It absolutely does perform computations.

Quote:
Thanks for your questions and curiosity btw, one can really tell that you have an open mind and are ready to learn the real science behind the magic.
Unnecessary sarcasm. The benefits of processing digital audio via FPGA are many, I take issue with your marketing of it.
Old 8th September 2017
  #395
Quote:
Originally Posted by londonengineer View Post
I'm not

The G in FPGA represents GATE. A gate is a logic device. It absolutely does perform computations.


Unnecessary sarcasm. The benefits of processing digital audio via FPGA are many, I take issue with your marketing of it.
Oh, believe me, I'm exceedingly grateful for you engaging us in this topic.
Old 8th September 2017
  #396
Gear Nut
FPGA is a technology that we'll surely see utilized more and more in audio units. It's already making its way into video game consoles and judging by the belief and dedication that Antelope Audio are pouring into heralding it into audio interfaces and vintage gear modeling it's probably here to stay. Tons of interesting insights about DSP vs FPGA in the posts above. For sure a bit of too much of a word play on both sides of this argument but some people seem to be missing the main point. And that would be how Antelope have been using FPGA technology to recreate various vintage units and how they sound.

And to be honest they do live up to the hype AA's marketing team have been building. And I'm not talking only about real-time processing, responsiveness or whatevs. I'm talking about FX models that do have a character and currently come for free. The fact users are getting this pro bono speaks shows that what Antelope are doing is exploring this technology real-time and sharing this process with their users. You bet in a few years most companies will have joined them.
Old 8th September 2017
  #397
Gear Head
As lots of people have been saying lately (me included): "the FX based on the FPGA technology are setting a standard of their own".
If they can finally get into the DAW, I wouldn't ask for more!

I read more and more comments about how FPGA re-presents or emulates the real analog circuit and/or electronics "better" than DSP lets say but in the end both technologies are digital.
To my ears the Antelope emulations sounds stunning and I heard the same from other users/fellow engineers.
I 'd like to see what mr. Levin's input is on DSP vs FPGA and why his company went for it.
Old 8th September 2017
  #398
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by londonengineer View Post
I'm not

The G in FPGA represents GATE. A gate is a logic device. It absolutely does perform computations.
Logic devices (gates) are ubiquitous in digital circuits. Are you suggesting that DRAM performs computations?

You are missing (or have obscured) the point. An FPGA (once programmed) provides a fixed circuit that doesn't require CPU involvement to function, so emulates a hardwired digital circuit. There is no stack or instruction set, or (most importantly) multi-tasking involved as there would be for CPU-based emulations, so there is a huge increase in speed and an ability to emulate more complex systems without increasing the load on the CPU or system to a point where the latency becomes a problem.

My best analogy from my own experience was using dedicated array processors to perform chemical dynamics simulations. We offloaded the specialized tasks to specialized hardware and let the CPU manage the traffic. The CPUs could do the task, but the specialized hardware/architecture of the array processors gave far faster results.

Similarly, we routinely use highly-specialized chips (digital circuits involving gates, I'll add) in video cards to do tasks that would be impossible for more general-purpose CPUs to handle purely in software in real time.

To suggest that there is no difference between how implementations operate in CPU-mediated software emulations, DSP-mediated software emulations and FPGA-mediated (quasi hardware) emulations is simply wrong, as is suggesting that there is no real advantage of one technology over the other.
Old 8th September 2017
  #399
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattzisk View Post
Logic devices (gates) are ubiquitous in digital circuits. Are you suggesting that DRAM performs computations?

You are missing (or have obscured) the point. An FPGA (once programmed) provides a fixed circuit that doesn't require CPU involvement to function, so emulates a hardwired digital circuit.
First, thanks for a fair and thoughtful reply. I didn't word the first line well, 'It absolutely does perform computations' was referring to the FPGA as a black box. It's performing transformations on digital audio, therefore there is computation involved.

Quote:
There is no stack or instruction set, or (most importantly) multi-tasking involved as there would be for CPU-based emulations, so there is a huge increase in speed and an ability to emulate more complex systems without increasing the load on the CPU or system to a point where the latency becomes a problem.
Agreed, and it allows for massively parallel operation too.

Quote:
My best analogy from my own experience was using dedicated array processors to perform chemical dynamics simulations. We offloaded the specialized tasks to specialized hardware and let the CPU manage the traffic. The CPUs could do the task, but the specialized hardware/architecture of the array processors gave far faster results.
Again, we agree - let the FPGA do the specialist stuff and let the CPU do the admin. Systems have been designed this way for 25+ years, and on far more complex systems than digital audio.

Quote:
To suggest that there is no difference between how implementations operate in CPU-mediated software emulations, DSP-mediated software emulations and FPGA-mediated (quasi hardware) emulations is simply wrong, as is suggesting that there is no real advantage of one technology over the other.
This is where we disagree I think, and it's over Antelope trying to insist that these plugins are somehow 'hardware' and therefore sound better where they are still just transformations on a digital audio stream. Doing this with low latency and with many instances is impressive and is a great feature. Trying to make out that there is any 'sound' benefit is misleading, when the input is nothing more complicated than a digital audio stream. Compared to the wizardry of video and high-end RF, audio is fairly straightforward and I just react badly to marketing BS and misleading copy. Again, thanks for engaging with a coherent argument rather than snarkiness!
Old 8th September 2017
  #400
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
An FPGA is simply one way of implementing a digital transfer function, it's digital in digital out. There is no inherent sonic advantage whatsoever. Are you really trying to imply it is somehow closer to analog hardware due to using an FPGA?
First off - I am a total believer that Antelope has a killer product line here and I recently sold my HDX system and currently use both Orion 2017 and Zen Tour. Great products - and the AFX are truly excellent. But I am also a 30 year EE design veteran and pretty much agree with the poster above.

To the best of my EE understanding -
FPGA takes a digital stream of audio in and does what its programmed to do to it. Includes any number of digital processes including all the Logical/Digital functions like "NOT, OR, AND, XOR....", adding, multiplying, etc... In the end this digital process is "hardwired" in the FPGA but it is in no way "analog hardwired with all the nonlinearities that happen in actual analog parts". A great number of these "nonlinearities" can certainly be programmed in the digital emulation though. The programming is "Field Programmable" so we get an GUI that lets us alter the parameters of the digital emulation as well - or swap it for a different one. But it is still a digital emulation of whatever the designer had in mind - be it analog hardware or their own creation.

DSP (chip based - CPU or micro controller) solutions do very much the same thing but it takes much longer due to it having to run a program rather than the digital circuit being simply hardwired.

The big keys for me are"
1) Stunningly low latency for tracking with AFX. 1/2 (or less) latency of HDX at 96kHz and depending on the FX chains in AFX and AAX-DSP less than 1/4 of the latency in complex chains. We are talking 0.3 to 0.5ms with complex FX chains and the near elimination of comb filtering distortion. For Vocals and acoustic instruments - amazing difference!
2) Really brilliant programming of the AFX. They sound great - period. I am not qualified to say better or worse than anything else but I have used tons of plugins and these are top shelf.
Old 8th September 2017
  #401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
In the end this digital process is "hardwired" in the FPGA but it is in no way "analog hardwired with all the nonlinearities that happen in actual analog parts"

......

But it is still a digital emulation of whatever the designer had in mind - be it analog hardware or their own creation.
This is exactly the point. It is still just a digital emulation. Being faster is certainly a plus, an achievement worth touting. I get annoyed with all the extra stuff, the misleading posts trying to imply it is somehow more analog.
Old 8th September 2017
  #402
Um, excuse me folks. When and where did I say the FPGA wasn't digital?

Yes, the FPGA is digital, but it's also a hardware chip doing real time processing that takes on whatever function you program it to do and is dedicated to perform a specific task. And yes we program individual components that do not use shared processing by a microprocessor and we find this to be a superior method for processing audio. If you have any doubts, listen to the results. If you're arguing for the sake of science, then hats off to you and I respect your altruism. But, if you're for some reason arguing because you are afraid of what this new paradigm represents, then I say to you, do not fear change. Do not fear progress. Just as a GPU is more efficient at graphics calculations over a CPU, an FPGA is much more effective for modeling analog hardware gear, based on the work we've been doing in this field.
Old 8th September 2017
  #403
Gear Maniac
 

as an end user ask me how concerned I am or how much I care about however AA may be achieving these latency's, effects and sound quality, come on, go ahead and ask
Old 9th September 2017
  #404
Lives for gear
 
Squawk's Avatar
Marcel, any chance of Antelope coming out with modulation or delay based effects? I would love to see Eventide H8000/H9000 type of effects algorithms taking advantage of FPGA. Complex patches that would otherwise be difficult to run on native CPU. Or is that not something that's really feasible with FPGA on the Antelope devices?

I guarantee that if Antelope does that, people will definitely start to take notice. Seems like compressors and EQ's are pretty well covered at this point. I mean, how many more compressors do we actually need here?

You've got one reverb (Auraverb), but it's a basic implementation, similar to RME TotalMix FX. (Incredibly useful though).

I'd like to see something unique here. Pitch shifting, doubling, delays, verbs, mangling, strangling, and finagling of audio signals beyond the usual compression and eq!

(Please have the engineering dept. focus on fixing any outstanding firmware bugs first though )
Old 9th September 2017
  #405
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutz View Post
as an end user ask me how concerned I am or how much I care about however AA may be achieving these latency's, effects and sound quality, come on, go ahead and ask
Ok, how concerned are you?
Old 9th September 2017
  #406
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Marcel, any chance of Antelope coming out with modulation or delay based effects? I would love to see Eventide H8000/H9000 type of effects algorithms taking advantage of FPGA. Complex patches that would otherwise be difficult to run on native CPU. Or is that not something that's really feasible with FPGA on the Antelope devices?

I guarantee that if Antelope does that, people will definitely start to take notice. Seems like compressors and EQ's are pretty well covered at this point. I mean, how many more compressors do we actually need here?

You've got one reverb (Auraverb), but it's a basic implementation, similar to RME TotalMix FX. (Incredibly useful though).

I'd like to see something unique here. Pitch shifting, doubling, delays, verbs, mangling, strangling, and finagling of audio signals beyond the usual compression and eq!

(Please have the engineering dept. focus on fixing any outstanding firmware bugs first though )
+1 - there is a stunning array of EQ´s and compressors already available and while i´m very happy for that, i too would be even happier for some efforts put down in more effects like the above, modulation and such.
Old 9th September 2017
  #407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
Marcel, any chance of Antelope coming out with modulation or delay based effects? I would love to see Eventide H8000/H9000 type of effects algorithms taking advantage of FPGA. Complex patches that would otherwise be difficult to run on native CPU. Or is that not something that's really feasible with FPGA on the Antelope devices?

I guarantee that if Antelope does that, people will definitely start to take notice. Seems like compressors and EQ's are pretty well covered at this point. I mean, how many more compressors do we actually need here?

You've got one reverb (Auraverb), but it's a basic implementation, similar to RME TotalMix FX. (Incredibly useful though).

I'd like to see something unique here. Pitch shifting, doubling, delays, verbs, mangling, strangling, and finagling of audio signals beyond the usual compression and eq!

(Please have the engineering dept. focus on fixing any outstanding firmware bugs first though )
First off, thanks for the request. It's something Robert Babicz (aka Rob Acid) has also asked about.

The nature of the modeling means it's best for us to populate the components we need to do specific types of FX completely in the FPGA, before moving onto other types of blocks. So, we completed our EQ's first (there might be a couple more, like a mastering package with a Sontec and something "Passive"), but for the most part, we are done with those. Now we're wrapping up our Compressor collection, but we're not quite there yet. We saved the most iconic ones for last, our new TubeChild670 is about to be released, our Impressor (pictured earlier in the thread) is also coming soon, then there is I think a "Master-Mu" on it's way plus a PowerGate, PowerExpander, and DeEsser. Now, keep in mind, some of these compressors contain distortion artifacts as part of their sound, like the Gyraf in "C Mode" or the Impressor. We also have distortion blocks utilized by guitar amps and the THD in our tube modeling, which is one type of distortion that constitute a type of "mangling", as you say. :-)

Next we have a set of microphones and mic preamp models on the way to accompany our new modeling microphone series. After this, there's a Tape machine or two to do and many of us would like to see a Bass Amp and some pedals (again manglers). So, there are more things to do and much more to come.

Thanks always guys for the requests, this does help us prioritize the road map. We're also thrilled so many are using the AFX. I am hooked on them myself. Btw, there's a great group going HERE with great discussion on these topics, as well.
Old 9th September 2017
  #408
Got a brand new Orion 32 HD in the mail yesterday. Looking forward to hook it up!

What would be great to have in the future is analog summing emulations of the various consoles (API, SSL, Neve, and maybe something more exotic like a tube one or two) running on the FPGA engine. 24 or even 32 channels.

I vision an entire console complete of subgroups, aux sends, center section. That is the future!

If you can dream of it, it can be done

Keep up the good work Antelope!
Old 9th September 2017
  #409
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
First off, thanks for the request. It's something Robert Babicz (aka Rob Acid) has also asked about.

The nature of the modeling means it's best for us to populate the components we need to do specific types of FX completely in the FPGA, before moving onto other types of blocks. So, we completed our EQ's first (there might be a couple more, like a mastering package with a Sontec and something "Passive"), but for the most part, we are done with those. Now we're wrapping up our Compressor collection, but we're not quite there yet. We saved the most iconic ones for last, our new TubeChild670 is about to be released, our Impressor (pictured earlier in the thread) is also coming soon, then there is I think a "Master-Mu" on it's way plus a PowerGate, PowerExpander, and DeEsser. Now, keep in mind, some of these compressors contain distortion artifacts as part of their sound, like the Gyraf in "C Mode" or the Impressor. We also have distortion blocks utilized by guitar amps and the THD in our tube modeling, which is one type of distortion that constitute a type of "mangling", as you say. :-)

Next we have a set of microphones and mic preamp models on the way to accompany our new modeling microphone series. After this, there's a Tape machine or two to do and many of us would like to see a Bass Amp and some pedals (again manglers). So, there are more things to do and much more to come.

Thanks always guys for the requests, this does help us prioritize the road map. We're also thrilled so many are using the AFX. I am hooked on them myself. Btw, there's a great group going HERE with great discussion on these topics, as well.
Sounds great Marcel, the combined compression w. mangling/dist and amp simulations stuff coming up is something that really interests me and will keep me going. For the future, a "space echo" would be wonderful, for dub duties. I really like that you focus on icons / classics, they are more useful in the long run.
Old 9th September 2017
  #410
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Squawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
First off, thanks for the request. It's something Robert Babicz (aka Rob Acid) has also asked about.

The nature of the modeling means it's best for us to populate the components we need to do specific types of FX completely in the FPGA, before moving onto other types of blocks. So, we completed our EQ's first (there might be a couple more, like a mastering package with a Sontec and something "Passive"), but for the most part, we are done with those. Now we're wrapping up our Compressor collection, but we're not quite there yet. We saved the most iconic ones for last, our new TubeChild670 is about to be released, our Impressor (pictured earlier in the thread) is also coming soon, then there is I think a "Master-Mu" on it's way plus a PowerGate, PowerExpander, and DeEsser. Now, keep in mind, some of these compressors contain distortion artifacts as part of their sound, like the Gyraf in "C Mode" or the Impressor. We also have distortion blocks utilized by guitar amps and the THD in our tube modeling, which is one type of distortion that constitute a type of "mangling", as you say. :-)

Next we have a set of microphones and mic preamp models on the way to accompany our new modeling microphone series. After this, there's a Tape machine or two to do and many of us would like to see a Bass Amp and some pedals (again manglers). So, there are more things to do and much more to come.

Thanks always guys for the requests, this does help us prioritize the road map. We're also thrilled so many are using the AFX. I am hooked on them myself. Btw, there's a great group going HERE with great discussion on these topics, as well.
That all sounds great. Sounds like there are a lot of cool things in the works.

One request to start off that would be extremely useful would be something kind of like an Eventide H3000 micro pitch shift patch for vocals, to thicken up a lead. Simple L/R delay with micro pitch shift on each side:

L: delay 15ms pitch +0.05
R: delay 20ms pitch -0.05

That would be excellent to monitor while tracking. Gives the talent a more confidence and a "wow" factor when they hear themselves sing
Old 10th September 2017
  #411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
Um, excuse me folks. When and where did I say the FPGA wasn't digital?
Not sure if it's been stated explicitly, but it sure seems to be continuously implied through erroneous statements like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
An FPGA is a real hardware component that does not perform computations, but instead is wired to act and mimic the electronics of analog components
It doesn't perform computations? Seriously?? Of course it does!!!! And why the continuous "real hardware" tag? I suppose you keep stating this so people will associate "real hardware" with the analog outboard hardware they enjoy, when it's not even close to the same thing. A DSP processor or a CPU is actually "real hardware" too, technically all silicon is, you realize that right?

Writing HDL code to run on an FPGA is akin to writing C code to run on a DSP. An FPGA is NOT akin to wiring analog resistors, capacitors, transformers, etc together.
Old 10th September 2017
  #412
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Not sure if it's been stated explicitly, but it sure seems to be continuously implied through erroneous statements like this:



It doesn't perform computations? Seriously?? Of course it does!!!! And why the continuous "real hardware" tag? I suppose you keep stating this so people will associate "real hardware" with the analog outboard hardware they enjoy, when it's not even close to the same thing. A DSP processor or a CPU is actually "real hardware" too, technically all silicon is, you realize that right?

Writing HDL code to run on an FPGA is akin to writing C code to run on a DSP. An FPGA is NOT akin to wiring analog resistors, capacitors, transformers, etc together.
Let me try another way of explaining. There are absolutely processors on an FPGA, but they aren't running code when you open an effect. They are ALWAYS running, they are pre-defined. They are "hardwired" processors that perform in realtime as "hardware".

The FPGA is processing "digitally" yes, as are the CPU plugins. The main difference is when using building blocks inside the FPGA, we are able to program “hard wiring” of components together. This is accomplished through "parallel processing", as opposed to "serial processing" of a CPU core (in other words doing things one at a time, as opposed to simultaneously if you will), since the individual modeling components are all performing signal processing tasks at the same time (parallel), they are “hardwired together” with no buffers or delays due to the serial nature of a CPU.

Once Hardwired Performance can be accomplished, the processor can be truly defined as Hardware. Hence, our description of AFX as hardware effects, as opposed to calling them software plugins.

There are loads of videos and technical explanations out there that support what I'm saying, if you'd like to take some time and explore it further for yourself.
Old 10th September 2017
  #413
Lives for gear
 

Ah yes, let's throw out as much technical jargon as we can to sound impressive. Just realize that the misleading buzzword marketing can be quite a turn off for those that actually understand the tech side of things.
Old 11th September 2017
  #414
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
Ah yes, let's throw out as much technical jargon as we can to sound impressive. Just realize that the misleading buzzword marketing can be quite a turn off for those that actually understand the tech side of things.
Johnyc seems to me that you are one of the very few people who really understand this stuff, so since you do pls try and explain why you disagree with clybourne with terms and give us reasons as to why, so far i've seen you disagree but you don't really explain whereas clybourne he tries to explain his position (which sound techical jargon to you). I am a possible antelope buyer and i would really like to know what you know.

Thanks
Old 11th September 2017
  #415
I hooked up my brand new Orion 32 HD yesterday and started to play with the AFXs on a mix right away.

Well, I don't know what kind of sorcery the FPGA is performing but, man, what a sound!
Large, deep, dynamic, punchy yet relaxed, enveloping. These words come to mind.

Now, I can tell I've never been able to get such a great result in just a couple of hours of mixing without using analog summing or outboard.

Call it hardware based FXs, call it audio steroids or voodoo magic, I couldn't care less...
Point is, Antelope FXs sound beautiful, and that's all that matters. To my ears, they certainly perform above regular plugs.


To anyone skeptical, try them out and see, that's the only way to assess if they work as claimed.


Btw, have only tried the Orion's monitoring outputs thus far and they seems to have more resolution and a deeper sound stage than the Dangerous D-Box conversion, which ain't no slouch either.

Kudos to Antelope!

I'll be posting a mix done with AFXs as soon as time allows.

Cheers
Andy

Last edited by andyisdead; 11th September 2017 at 06:01 AM.. Reason: Typo
Old 11th September 2017
  #416
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pulsar modular's Avatar
 

johnnyc has a point but personally I'm not too bothered by overreaching marketing when the plugins are free. The quality is outstanding.
Old 11th September 2017
  #417


So does anybody know what are Antelope doing with this? Are they launching a series of mic emulations? Maybe also FPGA-based like their guitar stuff?
Old 11th September 2017
  #418
Here for the gear
Is it software or hardware mic?
Old 11th September 2017
  #419
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JGPro View Post
Is it software or hardware mic?
Hardware mic(s) with software emulations of mic models and pre-amps. Will be offered to Antelope users for less.
Old 11th September 2017
  #420
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by msflsim View Post
Hardware mic(s) with software emulations of mic models and pre-amps. Will be offered to Antelope users for less.
So its something like the Slate or Townsend ones? But maybe based on FPGA?
I am hyped!
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